Azerbaijan: Eurovision 'terror plot' foiled

2012-05-30 16:02

Baku - Azerbaijan foiled an attempt to stage "terrorist" attacks while the country was hosting Eurovision Song Contest last week and arrested dozens of suspected plotters, the security ministry said on Wednesday.

"The main goal of the group was to stage terrorist acts in Baku during Eurovision," the National Security Ministry said in a statement. "As a result of the measures taken, 40 members of the group were arrested."

The group was planning attacks on the concert hall where Eurovision was held, on Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, on police buildings, hotels used by foreigners, and mosques and other religious sites, it said.

They "obtained Eurovision tickets with the aim of [committing] a terrorist act at the Baku Crystal Hall" where the pop competition was held, it said.

Security services detained the alleged gang during operations in Baku, Ganja, Sumgayit as well as several other regions of the country, the ministry said without giving dates.

Some of the alleged plotters put up armed resistance and one was killed, the statement said.

"The National Security Ministry opted not to disseminate information about neutralising the group during Eurovision in order not to provoke panic among citizens and foreign guests," it said.